WBEZ | police brutality http://www.wbez.org/tags/police-brutality Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago police commander stripped of power, faces felony charges http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-police-commander-stripped-power-faces-felony-charges-110720 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Evans 1tightcrop_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated Aug. 28, 10 p.m.</em></p><p>Prosecutors say a veteran Chicago police commander accused of misconduct chased a suspect into an abandoned building, stuck a gun down his throat and held a stun gun to his groin.</p><p>Assistant Cook County State&#39;s Attorney Lauren Freeman says DNA found on the gun is a match for the suspect who alleges he was abused during a January 2013 arrest.</p><p>Commander Glenn Evans, 52, is facing felony charges related to an excessive-force complaint filed by the man arrested.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/glenn-evans">Read all our coverage about Cmdr. Glenn Evans</a></strong></p><p dir="ltr">Evans has been on the Chicago police force for 28 years. He climbed the ranks, earning awards for valor and merit while serving in some of the city&rsquo;s toughest neighborhoods. Evans also gained a reputation among the rank-and-file, and residents in the districts he served, as an aggressive, hard-working cop.</p><p dir="ltr">Dozens of excessive-force complaints have been filed against Evans over the years, but none quite like those alleged &nbsp;in bond court Thursday.</p><p>Evans was on patrol in the Grand Crossing neighborhood, where he was serving as district commander at the time. He was responding to a report of shots fired in the area when he saw a man he believed to be armed. Evans announced his office and approached the man, who took off on foot. Evans pursued the suspect into an abandoned building--there, he found an unarmed Rickey Williams, 22, in a doorless closet.</p><p>As WBEZ <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cpd-leaves-commander-post-despite-assault-allegation-dna-match-110581">first reported</a>, an Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) investigation alleges Evans proceeded to stick his .45 caliber, Smith and Wesson, semi-automatic pistol deep down the Williams&#39; throat while holding a taser to his groin.</p><p>Assistant State&rsquo;s Attorney Freeman spoke in support of bond Thursday. She said as Evans allegedly held both weapons to the victim, he threatened to kill him if Williams did not tell him where the guns were. No guns were recovered at the scene, but Williams was charged with a misdemeanor reckless conduct offense, which was later dismissed.</p><p>Within three days of the incident, Williams had shared his story--and his DNA--with &nbsp;IPRA. The sample was to be compared to a swab of Evans&rsquo; gun, which was taken on February 1, 2013. It was a couple of months before the samples were sent off to the crime lab for analysis. According to Cook County State&rsquo;s Attorney Anita Alvarez, the results did not come back until the following April.</p><p>&ldquo;As I always say, DNA results are not obtained in 30 minutes like you see on TV,&rdquo; Alvarez said.</p><p>After IPRA received the results, it turned over its findings to Alvarez&rsquo;s office for criminal investigation. It also recommended to the police department that Evans be stripped of his police powers. That didn&rsquo;t happen until Wednesday, when Evans was officially charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct.</p><p>Evans did not speak at his bond hearing Thursday. But his attorney, Laura Morask, vehemently denied the allegations, calling the investigation &quot;incredibly flawed.&quot;</p><p>She says neither IPRA nor the state&rsquo;s attorney&rsquo;s office asked for Evans&rsquo; account of the incident in their respective investigations.</p><p>Asked whether her office had interviewed Evans, Alvarez said, &ldquo;I won&rsquo;t comment on any statements that were, or were not, made.&rdquo;</p><p>It&#39;s another blow to a department dogged by a reputation for misconduct. Evans is among more than 660 officers who, according to recently released police records, had at least 11 misconduct complaints during a recent five-year period. The records show Evans was not disciplined in any of the incidents.</p><p>Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who promoted Evans in 2012 and has praised him, vigorously defended him at a news conference Monday. Before the bond hearing Thursday, McCarthy issued a release saying that if the alleged actions are true they are &quot;unacceptable.&quot;</p><p>Evans left court without having to pay bail. Judge Laura Sullivan set a recognizance bond of $100,000, which means Evans doesn&rsquo;t have to post bail unless he fails to appear in court. He didn&rsquo;t have to speak with reporters either. The commander, and his attorneys, slipped out a back exit.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 00:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-police-commander-stripped-power-faces-felony-charges-110720 Morning Shift: Playing the political game at the State Fair http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-08-13/morning-shift-playing-political-game-state-fair <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/ROB THURMAN.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We check in with our political reporters Tony Arnold and Alex Keefe for the latest from the Illinois State Fair. What issues are gaining traction for voters? And, we talk to a community activist about the effectiveness to taking to the streets to protest police behavior.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-how-effective-is-police-protesting/embed?header=false&border=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-how-effective-is-police-protesting.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-how-effective-is-police-protesting" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Playing the political game at the State Fair" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 08:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-08-13/morning-shift-playing-political-game-state-fair Advocates want more accountability from Independent Police Review Authority http://www.wbez.org/news/advocates-want-more-accountability-independent-police-review-authority-108644 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/isadora_ruyter_harcourt_flickr_police.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.iprachicago.org/">The Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA)</a> is suppose to provide oversight of the police, but a group of advocates say IPRA itself needs oversight.</p><p>The Leaders Network, a group of prominent clergy, say IPRA doesn&rsquo;t hold the police accountable, citing a Chicago Reporter study that found IPRA only sustained <a href="http://www.chicagoreporter.com/news/2012/05/abusing-badge">1% of complaints</a>.</p><p>Ashunda Harris says her family&#39;s case is an example of what can go wrong. Her nephew, Aaron Harrison was killed in 2007 by Chicago police. IPRA found the shooting was justified, but last month a jury disagreed and <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&amp;id=9209133">awarded the family $8.5 million.</a></p><p>The director&rsquo;s position at IPRA is currently vacant and Mayor Rahm Emanuel has <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/press_room/press_releases/2013/august_2013/mayor_emanuel_namescommitteetoselectnewiprachief.html">assembled a committee </a>to appoint the next director. The committee includes the activist pastor <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Pfleger">Michael Pfleger </a>and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillard_Heintze">Terry G. Hillard</a>, former Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The advocates say the want the mayor to promise that the person he appoints will have backing from community leaders. Advocates also want &nbsp;an independent civilian group to hold that director accountable by reviewing and critiquing IPRA&rsquo;s annual report.</p><p>The Leadership Network&rsquo;s Marshall Hatch says having good police oversight is an important part of fighting crime, &ldquo;As a person who pastors in West Garfield Park and lives in Austin, we want people to believe in the police. We want the police and people to work together to solve crime. But you can&rsquo;t do that until people have confidence in the police department.&rdquo;</p><p>The Mayor&rsquo;s office was unable to provide comment in time for this story.</p><p>Shannon Heffernan is a reporter for WBEZ follow her at <a href="https://twitter.com/shannon_h">@shannon_h</a></p></p> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 09:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/advocates-want-more-accountability-independent-police-review-authority-108644 Vincent Teninty raises Pine Box Theater Company from the dead http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-27/vincent-teninty-raises-pine-box-theater-company-dead-89702 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-27/DSC_5787 copy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p> <style type="text/css"> <!--{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2D%0A%20%2F*%20Font%20Definitions%20*%2F%0A%40font-face%0A%09%7Bfont-family%3A%22Times%20New%20Roman%22%3B%0A%09panose-1%3A0%202%202%206%203%205%204%205%202%203%3B%0A%09mso-font-charset%3A0%3B%0A%09mso-generic-font-family%3Aauto%3B%0A%09mso-font-pitch%3Avariable%3B%0A%09mso-font-signature%3A50331648%200%200%200%201%200%3B%7D%0A%20%2F*%20Style%20Definitions%20*%2F%0Ap.MsoNormal%2C%20li.MsoNormal%2C%20div.MsoNormal%0A%09%7Bmso-style-parent%3A%22%22%3B%0A%09margin%3A0in%3B%0A%09margin-bottom%3A.0001pt%3B%0A%09mso-pagination%3Awidow-orphan%3B%0A%09font-size%3A18.0pt%3B%0A%09font-family%3A%22Times%20New%20Roman%22%3B%7D%0Atable.MsoNormalTable%0A%09%7Bmso-style-parent%3A%22%22%3B%0A%09font-size%3A10.0pt%3B%0A%09font-family%3A%22Times%20New%20Roman%22%3B%7D%0A%40page%20Section1%0A%09%7Bsize%3A8.5in%2011.0in%3B%0A%09margin%3A1.0in%201.25in%201.0in%201.25in%3B%0A%09mso-header-margin%3A.5in%3B%0A%09mso-footer-margin%3A.5in%3B%0A%09mso-paper-source%3A0%3B%7D%0Adiv.Section1%0A%09%7Bpage%3ASection1%3B%7D%0A%2D%2D%3E--></style> </p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-27/Vincent Teninty.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 370px; margin: 10px; float: right;" title="Pine Box artistic director Vincent Teninty">“I trust Steve [Pickering], as far as throwing me against the wall or slamming my head against the table, so I’m never afraid of getting hurt,” says Vincent Teninty, now performing in the brutally physical <em>A Girl With Sun in Her Eyes</em>. “I fear more for the audience, getting scared. We’ve had some women in the front row that, the look of fear in their eyes during that fight …”</p><p>Pickering plays a burnt-out cop, and Teninty a hapless hungover salesman, in <a href="http://www.pineboxtheater.org/">Joshua Rollins’s brand-new police procedural</a>, featuring <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/peter-pans-matt-hawkins-takes-flight">Matt Hawkins’s bone-rattling fight choreography</a>. Because of the small stage, Teninty says, “It’s basically television—it’s right there. So it had to be clean and crisp, but at the same time it had to look dirty and gritty.” It does, in spades.</p><p>The other hat Teninty wears in this production: he’s the new artistic director of Pine Box Theater Company, which went dormant in 2008. Since then, he says, “We’ve thrown around scripts, had a couple readings, trying to decide, ‘OK, if we do come back, what’s the right show to come back with?’ [Director] Matt Miller gave this script to Pine Box in December of 2010, and I said, ‘This is the one we need to go with.’”</p><p>“Every single one of the characters has a hidden truth, has something to hide,” says Teninty. “And our mission statement is a quote from Galileo: All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered. The point is to discover them.”</p><p>Teninty is arguably typecast in his role: a married father of three-year-old twins, he talks on Pine Box’s <a href="http://girlwithsun.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/what-if-i-had-by-vincent-teninty/">blog about a real-life solicitation by a prostitute</a>. That’s pure coincidence, he says, but acknowledges the character is like him. “That made it easier to kind of jump-start into the role: ‘OK, I know who this guy is, cuz he’s me!’ But then [director] Matt Miller really wanted to dig a little deeper. I was hiding myself, almost ashamed of who I was and the fact that this character and I had so much in common.” He calls his revelatory reminiscence in a hotel room “probably one of the toughest monologues I have done to date, simply because a lot of it rings true. Having to reveal that every night is very, very tough.”</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-27/LandyandWilliam2.jpg" style="width: 283px; height: 425px; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="Steve Pickering and Vincent Teninty in 'A Girl With Sun in Her Eyes' ">Of the six actors in <em>Girl</em>, four are Equity, including Pine Box company members Teninty and Audrey Francis. Now the other Equity performers—Pickering and Karen Aldridge—are joining Pine Box, in a well-deserved coup for Teninty. How does a little itinerant company that’s only recently resurfaced pay Equity wages and bennies? “You’ve got to find ways to raise money nontraditionally,” Teninty says. “From December till opening, I raised over $31,000 to put this together, cuz I knew that it was going to be a nice chunk of change—which the play absolutely deserved. I schmooze, wheel and deal, and do a lot of kissing butt.”</p><p>Pine Box is planning to announce a two-show season plus a possible remount of <em>A Girl With Sun in Her Eyes</em>, which closes on August 7. One of the two plays will probably be another by Joshua Rollins. “That kid is amazing,” says Teninty. “I mean, he poops scripts.”</p><p>“This has been a massive learning curve for me,” Teninty adds. “It’s our first Equity show, and being an Equity producer, and figuring out finances. I’m always thinking, like, ‘What about next week?’ And I’ve got to do this and I’ve got to do that, and it just never stops. My wife is always reminding me, ‘Hey, look what you’ve accomplished so far. Look at everything you’ve done.’ But I can’t right now, I can’t.’”</p></p> Wed, 27 Jul 2011 14:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-27/vincent-teninty-raises-pine-box-theater-company-dead-89702 How long will Burge serve? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/how-long-will-burge-serve <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/burge rex arbogast.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Some of the cases that convinced then Gov. Ryan to enact a moratorium involved men who accused Chicago police officers of torture. The man at the center of that history is former Police Commander Jon Burge. Burge is scheduled to be sentenced next Thursday for obstruction of justice and perjury.</p><p>Estimates of how harsh his sentence will be are all over the place -- as high as 30 years to as low as probation. Attorneys on both sides are readying their final arguments. WBEZ's criminal justice reporter Robert Wildeboer joined &quot;Eight Forty-Eight&quot; to talk to us about the legal strategies in this case.</p><p><em>Music Button: The Black Heart Procession, &quot;Heaven Below&quot;, from the CD Blood Bunny/Black Rabbit, (Temporary Residence)</em></p></p> Thu, 13 Jan 2011 14:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/how-long-will-burge-serve Union president blasts Weis http://www.wbez.org/story/abuse/union-president-blasts-weis <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2010-October/2010-10-20/donahue.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated At: 5:30 on 10/20/2010</em></p><p>The president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Wednesday lashed out at Police Superintendent Jody Weis for his handling of an alleged case of police brutality.<br /><br />Mark Donahue is the police union's president. He said Weis' Friday night press conference was held in haste and that Weis didn't conduct a proper investigation.<br /><br />Two of seven officers stripped of police powers have now been reinstated. Donahue said GPS records prove they weren't present when a suspect was allegedly beaten. <br /><br />&quot;At least two officers, and potentially all seven department members, have had their careers damaged by the superintendent's lapse of sound judgement,&quot; Donahue said. &quot;He didn't even have the common decency to apologize to, or even recognize, that these two officers have been cleared in his latest television appearance just this morning.&quot;</p><p>The names of the officers have not been released publicly. But Donahue said their reputations have been damaged within the department.<br /><br />He also said the Fraternal Order of Police is considering legal action &quot;against this superintendent on behalf of these two police officers whose good names and reputations have been tarnished by his incompetence.&quot;</p><p>Few details have been released about the incident in question. But on Tuesday, Mayor Richard Daley told reporters that &quot;a young person was handcuffed and several police officers watched it, and someone went over and punched him in the jaw. The superintendent immediately suspended him.&quot;</p><p>The Chicago Police Department today released a statement confirming that two officers have been cleared in the incident and that they're not part of the investigation. The department says it is &quot;committed to cooperating fully with all (Independent Police Review Authority) investigations. It is important to note that relief of powers does not consititute discipline.&quot;</p></p> Wed, 20 Oct 2010 20:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/abuse/union-president-blasts-weis